Today, Chicago elected a Black woman as Mayor of Chicago.
I sort of can’t believe it.
I was a kid when Harold Washington won in 1983. I remember the racial tensions of this city. I remember that entire campaign. When Harold announced, I don’t know if people thought he would win, but, they were excited about it. I remember watching the debates, and Harold was so eloquent, and he would talk circles around the other two.
Election day came and went, and there was Harold..he actually WON.
He won the most votes, even though it wasn’t the majority of the votes, and became the Democratic Nominee.
Folks were stunned…STUNNED, I tell you.
Being the Democratic Nominee meant that you became the Mayor, after all, this was Chicago.
But, then again, a Black man had WON, so all previous rules didn’t matter.
All of a sudden, we actually knew the name of the Republican Candidate for Mayor – Bernie Epton.
It was the first time where, as a child, I understood the racism of the world in which I inhabited.
You had lifelong Party Democrats, come up for the Republican.
I remember the one ad above all others during that time…
“ Bernie Epton…..BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE.”
Yeah, ‘BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE’.
That April 1983 Election Day came, and Black Chicago was overjoyed. There was a buzz in the air. Everybody was out at those Polling Places. Nobody was going to miss this election.
In the end, with an 82% turnout, Harold Washington won by 48,000 votes out of over 1.2 million cast.
It was a rough next 4 years, and Harold had another hard fought election, but, he won again.
When he died six months after re-election, our hearts were broken.
I guess I was young and naïve because I just assumed that we would have another Black person elected Mayor in Chicago. I didn’t think that it would take 35 years.
But, here we are, at this moment.
Not only will we get a Black Mayor, but we’ll get a Black WOMAN Mayor.
We came to this point because of Rahm Emmanuel’s decision not to run for re-election. He was run away because, he never got past the revelation of him hiding the Laquan McDonald murder from the public for over a year. When that came out, not a month after the election, it loomed over everything. There are tipping points, and the thing about tipping points, is that you don’t know what they will be. You can only see it in hindsight. I mean, we are the city that has paid out over a HALF BILLION DOLLARS in the past 5 years in lawsuits about police misconduct. In theory, McDonald’s murder was just one of many that resulted in a payout. But, something changed. Something about this case hit an exposed nerve that rolled over pretty much everyone involved – from the Police Chief, to the States Attorney, and finally Rahm.
In the meantime, things evolve, and suddenly, the Party Boss of Cook County winds up being a Black woman – Toni Preckwinkle. Her tenure as Cook County Board President has been tumultuous. She has made a few notable missteps in the job, both taxes that upset the general population. But, after Rahm’s announcement about not running for re-election, many believed that Preckwinkle was the person to beat. That, if she didn’t outright win it, it was no doubt that she would wind up in the top two for the runoff. (The law was changed after Harold died – no more plurality for the win ; now you have to get 50%+1 to be the victor….uh huh uh huh…how they change the rules once someone Black wins by them).
Preckwinkle made some errors along the way. They were completely unforced errors, but, because she did, her aura of invincibility began to crack.
Along the way, there were so many candidates. In the end, we had 12 candidates for the primary. A number of them were well known entities that have been around, doing various jobs in city, state and federal government. There were a couple of candidates that took the mantle of ‘ outsider’, but, Lori Lightfoot became the vessel for progressives who wanted ‘ change’.
Ms. Lightfoot, an attorney, was supported by the progressive community from the North Side, as well as the LGBTQ community. She wasn’t on television much. She was seventh when it came to fundraising, but she always lurked beneath the surface, while the other more well-known candidates were battling with one another and knocking each other out in the media, she was steadily climbing, and building her organization.
The pundits thought that the final two would be Preckwinkle and Bill Daley. I know that when Election Night came, that’s who I thought it was going to be. I turned on the television, and saw, with just 25% of the returns, that Lightfoot was leading. I was stunned, and just kept on watching to see how this would play out. She led from beginning to end. She was the top vote-getter, with just under 20% of the vote.
Preckwinkle was in second place, and Bill Daley was in third. But, only the top TWO got to move on.
Folks were like me – in shock.
The next Mayor of Chicago was going to be a Black woman. Period.
How’d THAT happen..LOL
The thing is…neither one of the two finalists won Black Chicago. They were put into place by votes outside of the traditional Black community. Neither one of the women live in the traditional wards that compose the Black wards in Chicago. Ms. Lightfoot lives on the North Side and Ms. Preckwinkle lives in Hyde Park – South Side, but not ‘South Side’, if you know what I mean. They have had to reach out to communities all across the city in their quest to become the victor tonight. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I have no idea, and I’m going to be tuned into the television to see what happens.
I was listening to a radio program on the local Black talk radio station, and one of the hosts was like, ‘ we haven’t even been able to enjoy this time’. I think that’s right. Maybe, as a constituency, we’ve grown, and needed more than ‘just being Black’ to excite us. Maybe it’s because we’re putting on them a Black Tax that other candidates wouldn’t have to go through. Ms. Lightfoot’s sexual orientation hasn’t become a talking point, or a reason to not vote for her. Both women are inter-racially married, so that can’t be a talking point of why we should doubt their ‘ Blackness’.
We’re comparing their records on the Police Department and who has been more critical of them when it comes to their treatment of the Black community. Whether or not they are committed to using tax monies for investment in non-thriving Wards, which would be a complete change from the Daley and Emmanuel eras. Maybe we have gotten more sophisticated in our expectations and demands of candidates.
But, it’s good to live in history, and history was made tonight.
A Black Woman will occupy the 5th Floor of City Hall.
She will be the first non-native born Chicagoan to become Mayor since 1931! Man we ARE a provincial town.😊
Congratulations, Mayor-Elect Lori Lightfoot.
OMG. I’ve never had a dog that was very destructive like that. My border collie Shannon has chewed the corners off a couple of rugs and that’s the worst of it. I just remembered my first sheltie chewed up about five pairs of shoes one day while I was at work. But it was my fault for leaving the closet door open.
They get very bored.
And then he’s hiding. He knows he did something wrong.
Primary him, my Black azz😠😠😠
They are all so cute😍
I just love Miss Blue!
No one cares about an explosive battle or his meltdowns. House Democrats were elected to do their job and that’s what they’re going to do. #Runteldat
FIND HIS ASS…………
Folks better not hug at church anymore or you’ll be accuse of invading folks space or worse…..
If a grown ass woman such as Lucy Flores cannot communicate a message with words or body language to a person who has “invaded” her space, then she probably shouldn’t have been running for Lt. Governor in Nevada. I think politicians need a lot more backbone than what she apparently has, poor little pitiful invaded thing. Oh, yeah, that’s right. She lost in a landslide.
I’m so SICK of this.
SPEAK ON IT!
As if? Who do this clown think he is? #BOYBYE!
I don’t blame Rep. AOC for ignoring Ryan’s @ss. In fact, I’m just like her: I don’t take advice from losers, either.
I just want to buy the DVD. Please.🙏
That’s no mistake. It’s called a lie. Saying your dad is 70 when he’s 71 is a mistake. Saying he was born in Germany when he was born in NY is a lie.
Humans can be so mean…
I certainly won’t be watching and don’t care. I’m supporting Democratic candidates. So there!
My brother can make the best guacamole……….
All I have to say about Sanders since he f*cked the Democratic Party nine ways to Sunday in 2016 is: F*ck Bernie with a long rusty nail. He didn’t get my vote in the Dem primary here in GA in 2016, and he’s not getting it this time, either. It’s way past the time he sits his @ss down somewhere and stop talking about getting the votes of the WWC. Every time he does it, more Dem voters scratch his name off the list of suitable 2020 Dem candidates. In my case, he never made the list. I was finished with him after witnessing the way he behaved in 2016, and the fact that his crazy @ss supporters kept saying the Dem nomination was ”stolen” from him. It wasn’t stolen, we just didn’t want his stank @ss representing our party as a presidential candidate.
THE PO PO & JUDICIAL SYSTEM SEND OUR BLACK KIDS TO JAI.
They are RESPONSBILE FOR MASS INCARCERATION
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Now, these demons are going to mess with my bacon:
There has been some criticism of the Black community in Chicago being led astray by their voting for Lightfoot.
As a lifelong Chicagoan who only left the city when she went away to school, I have to defend my folks.
Having looked at the polls, I expected Lightfoot to possibly win. But, last night wasn’t a win. It was an absolute route.
I will remind folks that Toni Preckwinkle was considered the favorite when she announced that she was running for Mayor. But, she made a number of unforced errors that seemed to mushroom into a cloud over her campaign.
In February, the Black community had 6 Black candidates. Preckwinkle didn’t win ‘Black Chicago’. The overwhelming number of Black wards went for Willie Wilson. There’s a reason for that. I’ve written that Preckwinkle has been upsetting people, from the beginning, going back to how she got into office in the first place with her defeat of then President Todd Stroger. Since then, it’s been a series of her actions that have made folks look askance at her, culminating with a sugar tax that was so regressive, it was ultimately repealed. Her reaction to that defeat, also put a bad taste in folks’ mouths for her.
We often comment that a candidate has a certain time that they should run for something. For Preckwinkle, her time to run for Mayor was 2015, before her disastrous sugar tax. If she had run then, I have no doubt, because of how close Garcia came, that she would have beat Rahm.
We’ll give Lightfoot a chance, and if she doesn’t do right, we can vote her out in 4 years.
that hasn’t happened since Jane Byrne…
skeptical brotha 🌈 (@skepticalbrotha) Tweeted:
Black women now hold all of Chicago’s most powerful elected positions: Cook County Board President, State’s Attorney, and Mayor. https://twitter.com/skepticalbrotha/status/1113253974264516610?s=17
Uh huh 😒
We often comment that a candidate has a certain time that they should run for something. For Preckwinkle, her time to run for Mayor was 2015. If she had run then, I have no doubt, because of how close Garcia came that she would have beat Rahm.
All 50 wards
i think Lori Lightfoot is a fraud. i didn’t think it would be like this, but the more i examined her history, the more skeptical i became. pun intended. her history as police executive and stooge and her so-called police reform credentials don’t square with each other. she’s Rahm in blackface. Blackfolks didn’t put her in the runoff and she didn’t win a single black ward in the primary. Media brainwashing and bandwagon voting produce nothing but disinvestment, racist policing, and gentrification. Black Chicago will get nothing for their votes for Lightfoot.
Good Morning, Everyone 😄😄😄